If you are involved in a car accident, you should make sure to contact law enforcement and first responders. You also should tend to any injuries that anyone may have at the scene. Beyond the immediate steps to take, you should follow a few other procedures after the accident to preserve your chance to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit in the future.
After a car crash in Ohio, the situation can be highly chaotic. You or the other driver may be injured. You may be facing a long recovery, costly medical bills, and a loss of income. There are a number of steps you should take if you are involved in a car accident. Our car accident attorney can work with you in the aftermath of a collision.
Do Not Confront the Other Driver After Your Car Accident
After the accident, you, the other driver, or someone else involved may be angry. They may want to assign blame or to start a confrontation before law enforcement officers arrive.
You should not allow this confrontation to happen. After checking on the people in the other car about injuries, do not accuse anyone of fault in the crash. If you believe the other driver may threaten you or try to harm you, just stay in your car until first responders arrive.
Avoid Chasing After a Hit-and-Run Driver
If you believe the driver who hit you is going to try to flee the scene, do not try to stop them. Even though this driver is committing a crime by leaving the scene, according to Ohio Revised Code Section 4549.02, you should let police handle it.
The driver trying to flee may try to hit you with the car, putting your life or others in danger. Instead, give police a description of the hit-and-run driver and their vehicle when they arrive.
Preparing To Speak With Police Officers After the Crash
After first responders arrive at the scene, they will assess your injuries and those of others involved in the crash. They may recommend that you travel to the hospital in the ambulance.
At some point, either at the scene or the hospital, you will need to speak to law enforcement officers about the accident. They will want to hear your version of the events that led to the crash.
Telling the Truth to Police
You should always tell police the truth. Being in a car accident is a very frightening time. Even remembering details at the scene just moments afterward can be a challenge.
Give police your version of events to the best of your recollection. It is all right to say that you are unsure about something or that you do not remember exactly how a certain aspect of the crash happened. These memories may come back to you later, or an eyewitness to the accident may have the information.
Seek Treatment for Your Injuries
If you have injuries that leave you with an economic loss because of the other driver’s negligence behind the wheel, you will have the right to seek damages.
Economic losses can involve a number of items, including:
- Medical bills
- Costs for ongoing medical treatment
- Costs for prescriptions or therapy equipment
- Lost wages
- Lost salary from an inability to work because of lingering injuries
Receive a Full Diagnosis of Your Injuries
To be able to make a personal injury claim, you will need to seek medical treatment after the crash. You must have proof of your injuries from a doctor. The other driver’s insurance company will not simply accept your testimony that you have injuries.
To give yourself the best chance at receiving a fair settlement, you will need to have a doctor’s treatment plan for your recovery. You then will need to follow that plan. If you miss appointments or skip taking your medication, the other insurance company may claim that your injuries are not serious enough to warrant a personal injury settlement.
Collect Evidence of the Vehicle Collision
You could start working on your personal injury case by gathering evidence at the scene of the crash. Some evidence that might be useful in your case includes:
- Photos and videos of the accident scene
- Photos of your injuries
- Statements from witnesses to the auto accident
- The police report
- Medical records
You can use your mobile phone to begin recording evidence at the scene of the crash. If you are not able to collect evidence at the accident scene, our team will gather evidence for you.
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Other Considerations To Keep in Mind After You Are Involved in a Car Accident
After a car accident, you’ll want to:
- Avoid posting on social media: The other party’s insurance company may keep tabs on you after an accident. They will likely want to make sure that you are telling the truth about the severity of your injuries. Avoid posting anything on social media that can give the liable party a reason to think you deserve less compensation.
- Avoid accepting a cash offer from the at-fault driver: You should keep conversation with the liable driver to a minimum at the accident scene. They may try to offer you a cash settlement at the accident scene so that you do not file an insurance claim. We do not recommend accepting a cash offer, as it may not cover all the losses you suffered.
You will also want to assess your property damage and go over the limits of your insurance policy after an accident. A personal injury attorney from our firm can guide you through the claims process of the process of filing a lawsuit.
One Key Step May Involve Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you choose to hire our law firm to represent you, we will take over the day-to-day work of managing your claim, giving you time to heal and recover. If you file a personal injury lawsuit, you have two years from the date of the crash to do so, according to Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.10.
The Fitch Law Firm LLC team is ready to protect your right to receive an award against the driver at fault for your crash and your injuries. Call us today for a free consultation.
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